BMW's Electric Range Grows With 2015 BMW i8 Concept Spyder

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Possibly the most exciting electric cars to appear over the next few years are from BMW.

The German maker's electric i3 subcompact and i8 plug-in hybrid supercar have whetted our appetites and now BMW has announced a further addition to the range, in the shape of the i8 Spyder.

Autocar reveals that BMW sources have confirmed the Spyder, based on the regular fixed-roof i8 and due in 2015.

As you can see from the images, it's possibly the closest indication yet of what the production i8 will look like, losing the previous concepts' part-glass doors in favor of something more conventional. The rest of the styling remains as striking as the earlier vehicles though, suggesting this is one concept that should make it to production virtually unscathed.

Details of the roof mechanism aren't clear just yet, though a single-piece removable panel--likely made from carbon fiber--is rumored.

Like the i8 coupe, the Spyder will use an all-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid system. A 1.5-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine delivers up to 220-horsepower to the rear wheels, while the front axle is powered by a 129-horsepower electric motor.

BMW i8 Concept Spyder

BMW i8 Concept Spyder

Enlarge Photo

This allows the i8 to operate in front, rear or four-wheel drive, with the potential for 0-60 mph in only 5 seconds and a limited top speed of 155 mph.

Even better, the i8 could be capable of nearly 80 mpg, with an all-electric range of around 19 miles--enough to make the i8 a zero-emissions vehicle in city driving.

The 2015 BMW i8 Spyder is set to make its official debut at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show later this month.


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Comments (11)
  1. I love it so much I've already left a voicemail for my BMW salesman to call me. An i8 Spyder to enjoy and an i3 for the daily stuff might be very nice : )

  2. Not very electric.

  3. Well of course not it's a hybrid.

  4. It is nice too see car makers making exciting looking cars as efficient as possible.
    Having efficient green cars in different car types
    (sedan, hatchback, sport(s/y) car) will bring more people to driving more efficient cars.
    As for being hybrids and not pure electric.. I'm happy for the folks who can do what need and want to do with a puree EV like the Leaf. However here in the USA, I think it is fair to say most drivers will not want to give up the flexibility that a hybrid/ ICE gives. A big obstacle to changing from ICE cars (at least in the USA) is refueling speed. Until electric or some other alternate fuel can refuel a car in the 5 minutes it takes to refuel with gas, gas isn't going away.

  5. Right; and neither are all the fatalities related to gas driven engines....c.o.p.d,cancer,etc. There are more important reasons than gas prices to rid the world of gasoline driven vehicles.

  6. "capable of nearly 80 mpg"

    80 mpge? electric like the 99 mpge LEAF
    blended mode? like the PIP?
    Only ignoring the contribution of wall electricity? e.g 220 MPG Volt?

    Not sure what to make of this number.

  7. I expect it's calculated in the same way as the Volt, in that it's a combined figure of EV and gasoline (over a certain distance, but not a full tank of gas), but doesn't consider the energy usage of the electricity itself.

  8. Thank you for the kind reply.

    Unfortunately, that is a slightly meaningless number unless BMW discloses or there is some government or industry standard for this.

  9. We'll just have to wait until it gets closer to production before the real numbers become available.

  10. Nice looking car, but that's all it's got going for it.

  11. Some video of the i8 in motion

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